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Mitad del Mundo: Wonder of the earth’s equator

In the heart of Ecuador, a unique place attracts travellers from all over the world: the Mitad del Mundo, literally “Middle of the World”. Around ten kilometres from Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, this emblematic site symbolises the point where the Earth’s equator divides our planet into two distinct hemispheres.

D.R.

D.R.

This captivating site is shrouded in a mystical and historic aura. The focal point of this area is an imposing monument located at 0 degrees latitude, making it the reference point for the earth’s equator. This majestic edifice takes the form of an obelisk, symbolising the geographical separation of the globe into two parts.

The orientation of the Mitad del Mundo monument towards the four cardinal points is marked by commemorative inscriptions. Each side pays tribute to the French geodetic mission to the Equator, which began in 1736 and brought together a team of international explorers and scientists who proved that the earth was not perfectly round. So to the north, a legend honours Pedro Vicente Maldonado; to the west, the Spanish emblem (from the 1930s) recalls the Spanish participation of Jorge Juan de Santacilia and Antonio de Ulloa; to the south, the Ecuadorian emblem commemorates the bicentenary of the mission; and finally to the east, the French emblem celebrates the three French scientists: Charles Marie de la Condamine, Pierre Bouguer and Louis Godin.

Much more than just a geographical point, the Mitad del Mundo embodies a profound symbol of the human spirit of exploration and our quest to understand the Earth. Visitors can literally stand with one foot in each hemisphere, and also experience the Coriolis effect, which causes water to swirl to the left or right depending on which hemisphere you are in.

Beyond the central monument, the Mitad del Mundo houses a fascinating museum that delves into the history of geodesy and the techniques used to determine the shape and dimensions of the Earth. Interactive exhibits and educational information immerse visitors in the complex world of cartography and geographical science.

La Mitad del Mundo reflects our never-ending quest to understand our planet and our place within it. Whether you’re looking for scientific knowledge, historical discoveries or simply a unique experience, this extraordinary place will provide you with an unforgettable souvenir on your trip to Ecuador.

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